#GST: India wins 203-0

Truth be told, I am not even a big fan of the Goods and Services Tax, which turns the nation into one single market. My libertarian principles are in favor of local control over every aspect of governance, from taxation to running schools. I am always in favor of reducing centralized systems and devolving power into the hands of local authorities: from Center to States, from States to Cities and finally with cities themselves handing over as many powers as possible to local neighborhood associations. The mess that Mumbai and Delhi and Noida and Gurgaon and most other cities face during rains and the reason these problems are never seriously tackled is that we do not have sufficiently empowered city governments. This is in stark contrast to the US model where the mayors of big cities like NY and Chicago are household names nationwide.

The only good idea that AAP ever came up with was devolving power to  Mohalla Sabhas: which is the main reason they never ever talk about this any longer. As a typical dictator running a personality cult based political party, the last thing that Kejriwal would want is to devolve power…

But then, I am nothing if not an empiricist. The maze of local taxes (each one of them collected by a separate system of lazy, corrupt and inefficient babus) surely increases the cost of doing business. A national market gets rid of a lot of corrupt and crazy bureaucracies in one fell swoop. That is why I am happy to welcome the passage of the Goods and Services Tax in the Rajya Sabha.

True, the Commies, also known as the world’s biggest losers, tried to throw a last moment spanner in the works. Here is an exclusive picture of Sitaram Yechury  speaking for the Commies in the Rajya Sabha yesterday:

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Thank you for sharing your views, Mr. Yechury.

What is more important today is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ushered in the single biggest tax reform in the history of independent India. Given how important sentiment is to the world economy, an emphatic statement of intent and iron will from Prime Minister Modi can only be good for manufacturing, for foreign investment and growth.

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There can be no doubt that the Prime Minister has etched his name in history by passing this massive tax reform. Just as important as the passage of the bill is the margin of the passage…barring some people who walked out, no one voted against the bill. The resolve for reform should be heard across the world. India is open for business.

And it is also wonderful to finally take a break from the endless news on caste agitations propped up by the Congress and the media. For a change, we are discussing stuff that matters. This is the kind of stuff that has the power to change our lives.

This reformist message will be heard not just in America, Europe, China and Japan, but also in the living rooms of BJP’s urban middle class base. As I spoke about yesterday, urbanization is the key for the BJP to win and keep winning. There have been 9 Prime Ministers since the idea of GST first came up, but Narendra Modi was the man who got it done. It cannot be changed now (unless, of course, the overlords at the Supreme Council of India decide to intervene).

But for the moment, we soak in the bountiful monsoon and explore a future full of optimism. It is good to take a step back from the relentless negativity that the media throws at the Modi sarkar and feel the moment. Someone once told me a story with a profound message: a king asked the wise men in his court to bring him a magical device that could make every happy person sad and every sad person happy… One wise man came back and gave the king a ring with these words inscribed on it: “This too shall pass“.

So, my friends, this too shall pass. But for the moment, India has won. Bharat ki vijay! Acche din aane waale hain… 🙂

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24 thoughts on “#GST: India wins 203-0

  1. Out of all the reforms that need to be undertaken,only the GST required a constitutional amendment.Now that it has been done,BJP can be more aggressive.This was Congress’ last bargaining chip and they simply surrendered it.Land and labour reforms left(what else?).Once we get a new Pres and VP next year,we can pass these reforms easily as well.

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  2. There have been news reports that Jaitley could become the next President.I get the sense that since Jaitley has a closer relationship with Congress than other BJP leaders,Modi kept him till he helped to get the GST bill passed.Won’t be surprised if next year’s budget is his last budget and if he becomes the President after that.

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    1. Dear Enigma,

      This particular rumour has been around for a while. One must say that, though he was a Congress appointee, Pranab Mukherjee has been a model President, unlike Hamid Ansari who has looked and acted the part of a Congress stooge. For instance, Pranab M has approved various ordinances, and resisted all manner of petitions against the government. I wonder how much mischief Jaitley could cause as President. Given his monumental ego, and no possibility of re-election (hence with nothing to lose), he might run riot. What is your view?

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      1. True that Pranab Da has been a good President and also true that Ansari has been a horrible VP.Personally,I don’t think Jaitley will run riot(if he becomes the Pres) but only time will tell.

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      1. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why there is so much “RW” do not like / distrust Jaitley. Surely he has been staunch for BJP throughout his entire adult life.

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  3. Dear Chaiwallah,

    During my eleven years in DRDO (eight of them under Dr. Kalam), I could observe that petty corruption decreases significantly as one moves from city to state to centre. The corrupt persons at the centre make their money in one fell swoop from big deals, and can’t be bothered to waste time harassing crores of us little guys. The perception of “ease of business” has to do with how centralized (and therefore efficient) the corruption is. Don’t kid yourself that there is no corruption in “advanced Western” countries — it is concentrated at the very highest levels that’s all. One has merely to buy a few leading politicians, and everything falls into place. Think Hillary Clinton!

    So in that sense your “libertarian principles” are 100% wrong, I am sorry to say. Europe has seen enormous growth simply due to the common market. But India has an advantage that Europe does not — we also have a POLITICAL union in addition to an economic union. India also has an advantage that China does not have. We permit free movement of people within the country, which China does not. Imagine a situation in which poor Bihari labourers cannot move to Haryana or Mumbai; that is what happens in China. This is why China has greater economic inequalities than India. There is LOTS of discontent in Chinese villages, but it is not brought out because Western journalists (a) have been totally bought out by the Chinese government, and (b) are just as lazy as our media, and will not stir outside their studios.

    I am puzzled however that people think there will be electoral dividends in time for the 2019 election. There might be a few “green shoots,” but the big improvements will come only over time. The One India One Market can add perhaps 1.5% or even 2% to our growth rate every year. Over 20 years, this will transform India beyond recognition (though I won’t be here to see it).

    I just hope that Jaitley has not made too many under the table deals with the Congress in order to get this bill passed. For the next days and weeks we will have to put up with his insufferable mug everywhere, especially on NDTV (to send a message). But as you have said “this too shall pass.” Long after there is no Jaitley, the benefits of the GST will keep on accruing.

    Finally, I doubt that the unelected and entrenched overlords of India would interfere in this matter; I hope my hunch is right.

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      1. Thanks Enigma! I am OLD, and have worked in a variety of situations (academia, government, industry) and two continents. So I have some perspectives. But I am no match to our good friend Chaiwallah! 🙂

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    1. On a separate note. DRDO is the worst thing that country came up with. I have personal experience of dealing with NSTL, GTRE, ARDE, ADA, ADE, VRDE, NMRL and headquarters in Delhi.
      DRDO eats up India’s money and actively discourages Indian technology firms and favors foreign firms. Actively designs tenders to suit foreign firms.
      DRDO should be closed lock stock n barrel. A complete and utter shameful disgrace. It has killed multiple tech startups out of IITs and IISc. I have personally lost over 5 crores investing in these startups of graduates from IITs and Stanford and Carnegie Mellon with their professors.

      No Government body can be worse than DRDO.

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    2. Prof. Vidyasagar,
      As I said I am nothing if not an empiricist. And at the moment, in India, the primary aim is to remove corrupt babus. GST gets rid of a lot of local corruption. Local control does not work if the citizens are not empowered and conscious.

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  4. I consider it an offence to represent Sitaram Yechury as pack of dogs. These creatures are intelligent and extremely loyal to their master, exactly opposite to commie parasites who live in our country, enjoy our resources and lobby for China!

    The picture is an insult. To the canines, of course.

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    1. Yes canines have lot of gratitude towards the people whom they live with and bark at strangers/threats. Yechury (and all other Leftists) are just the opposite. They sympathize with terrorists and bark at our army.

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  5. The moment GST passed, second guessers have flooded the leftist media outlets like FP, Huffington Post and started saying how it will hurt India more than it will help! As long as Congress successfully blocked passage they were all silent.

    I must say, I am somewhat skeptical of Mohalla Sabha type decision for governance. In our villages where education level is so poor, how they would make good decision of school curriculum for example? If we witness how and what kinds of decisions are taken in a Gram Panchayats, we would never leave important decision of governance in their hands.

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    1. I agree with you. For local control, an educated and conscious citizenry is needed. In fact, Bengal had something of a mohalla sabha model, where basically it was CPM goons (and now TMC syndicates) that made all the decisions. Local control is probably not a good idea in India at this time. It is only an ideal that I aspire to.

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